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Gentle Giant

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Gentle Giant Edge of Twilight album cover
4.35 | 64 ratings | 14 reviews | 48% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (78:37)
1. The Advent of Panurge (4:43)
2. Funny Ways (4:28)
3. Peel the Paint (7:30)
4. Acquiring the Taste (1:38)
5. Cogs in Cogs (3:08)
6. The House, the Street, the Room (6:02)
7. The Boys in the Band (4:34)
8. Schooldays (7:35)
9. Raconteur Troubadour (4:03)
10. Wreck (4:37)
11. Nothing at All (9:07)
12. Why Not? (5:33)
13. Playing the Game (6:44)
14. Mister Class and Quality? (5:51)
15. Three Friends (3:04)

CD 2 (77:40)
1. Proclamation (6:48)
2. A Cry for Everyone (4:03)
3. Isn't It Quiet and Cold? (3:46)
4. Plain Truth (7:36)
5. Knots (4:10)
6. Alucard (6:03)
7. Aspirations (4:38)
8. Pantagruel's Nativity (6:50)
9. River (5:53)
10. The Face (4:11)
11. The Moon Is Down (4:48)
12. Edge of Twilight (3:48)
13. No God's a Man (4:26)
14. So Sincere (3:49)
15. Think of Me with Kindness (3:32)
16. Valedictory (3:19)

Total Time 156:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Gary Green / lead guitar, 12 string guitar
- Kerry Minnear / keyboard, some bass, cello, lead vocals, backing vocals, some tuned percussion
- Derek Shulman / lead vocals, backing vocals, some bass
- Phil Shulman / sax, trumpet, recorder, lead vocals, backing vocals
- Ray Shulman / most bass, violin, some guitar, percussion, backing vocals
- Martin Smith / drums, percussion
- John Weathers / percussion
- Malcolm Mortimore / drums

Releases information

Mercury's Chronicles

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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GENTLE GIANT Edge of Twilight ratings distribution

(64 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(48%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (3%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GENTLE GIANT Edge of Twilight reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I don't own this album, but i know all of the songs! This album is a compilation of Gentle Giant's best work from 1970-1974, including all tracks from "The Power and the Glory" and nearly all track's from "Acquiring the Taste" and "Octopus", wich is a good thing if you don't own these albums! Unfortunately, no track's from "In a Glass House" was included on this album (wonder why?). Anyway, this is a very good starting point if you are new to GG, but i recommend you to maybe start with a Album from GG first (Octopus, In a Glass House, Free Hand), and not a compilation! Recommended anyway...4 1/2 stars!
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Great Introduction to Gentle Giant music .!

Before I purchased this compilation I asked myself: Is it worth having a compilation while there are nothing like "previously unreleased" tracks in the track list and when I have all complete albums of the band? That's why I did not decide right away and took my sometime to think. At the end, I purchased it with only one chief reason: the mark "Extensive Sleeve Note" on the sticker posted at the CD jewel. It's not a compelling reason, actually, as I can get tons of information through the net on wide variety of views about the band music or the band history. But I don't know, for me, having something handy while listening to the music and sipping a cup of capuccino is a very enjoyable moment. And when I unsealed the CD, I loved it at first sight: there were 6 pages black and white photos of the band and comprehensive liner notes by GG die hard fan: Dan Barrett.

Actually, nothing special about the CD package but for me personally, the sleeve notes serve its purpose excellently, ie. First for its fans base: To stimulate the spirit of the band despite it has been disbanded long time ago and there is very little possibility that they will do some reunion concert. Second, for those who are new to the band would have a sufficient introduction about the band while listening to the music. And for the latter I am in the opinion that those who are new to the band will have a great companion to the purchase of the discs.

Musically, all tracks selection represent the band's best songs from the period of 1970 - 1974 with the exception of "In a Glass House" album. I don't know why there is nothing from this album was selected for this compilation. There are many best tracks from the band actually. But, for newbie I think this compilation represents almost all variety of GG styles. Even from the opening track "The Advent of Panurge" the listener is posed with a blend of music combining rock, jazz and avant-garde with a great vocal line. Many friends of mine complained that the band's music is hard to digest and I always suggest to give a chance to listen to this compilation for couple of spins, minimum 5 spins. If they can pass the 5 spins then they can continue purchasing individual album. It's worked fine with this simple theorem.

It's better to have a collection of each individual album as I find that there is no such thing called as "bad" album of Gentle Giant, even the last studio album "Civilian". The beauty of having the individual album is that whenever we play the CD we get the full stream of the album's music in a series of tracks as originally designed by the band - so it flows automatically into the mind of the listener. We then know what's next after this track. It's like reading a novel from beginning to end. However, having listened to this double CD compilation for many times, I feel like listening to another album of Gentle Giant. Highly recommended! Keep on progging!

Yours progressively,

GW - Indonesia.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A tight squeeze

"The edge of twilight " offers an excellent introduction to Gentle Giant in the form of a double CD compilation. In all, five of their albums appear, virtually intact. I say they are virtually, intact since, for reasons of space, one or two tracks are missing from each album. The five albums included are "Gentle Giant", "Acquiring the taste", Three friends", "Octopus", and "The power and the glory". The reason why "In a glass house" was skipped over completely is unclear. Whether the tracks which have been omitted are essential or not is of course a matter of opinion, but it is interesting that the first track, "Giant", from their first album has been dropped.

The tracks from the albums have been intermingled rather than presented chronologically. The sequencing has presumably been designed to present the product as a coherent double album, and to that extent it does work well. It would however have been nice to hear the tracks in the order they appeared on the albums, thus showing how the band's music developed.

There are no rare tracks, alternate versions, etc. here, the objective has clearly been to squeeze as much as possible from the selected albums onto the two CD's.

There is little point in going into detail on the music contained on this collection, I would simply refer you to the review pages for the individual albums. Suffice to say, this is an excellent way of discovering the music of Gentle Giant at a decent price. A nice informative booklet is included too.

Review by Matti
5 stars A very very generous compilation of Gentle Giant 1970-'74, covering almost completely the 6 first albums excluding In a Glasshouse, from which there's nothing. The missing songs are 'The Queen' (Gentle Giant), 'Black Cat' (Acquiring The Taste), 'Prologue' (Three Friends), 'Dog's Life' (Octopus) and the title track of Power & the Glory. So, this is almost like having 5 albums, except that the track list is not album by album which would have made sense. Anyway, this was the thing that made me like GG in '97 (I had listened some 2LP compilation 7 years before and I wasn't ready then to 'acquire the taste') - and which still seems to be almost all I need. I have taped In a Glasshouse too, and some later albums I haven't liked.

Also the sleeve notes about the band's history etc are well written. I won't try to describe all the music here. One has to experience it himself/herself. Some words: challenging, complex, unique, clever, witty, sometimes very tender (Kerry Minnear is my favourite singer in GG) and sometimes quite raw and ballsy, but never chaotic. Already the wide selection of instruments make GG special. This 2 CD package is definitely a good purchase for those who don't care so much about having separate original albums.

Review by fuxi
5 stars Let me tell you, this double CD really blew my mind!

Before I bought this, I knew virtually nothing by Gentle Giant, apart from their (excellent) live album PLAYING THE FOOL. (I remember seeing a TV registration of a concert from the same tour, way back in the Seventies. Even then it struck me how profoundly uncool the band looked. But the music sounded gorgeous!) Since this collection contains virtually all the material from five of GG's best studio albums, I decided to give it a go. (Why buy five separate albums if you can get the same stuff for the price of one disc and a half?)

And what a treasure chest this turned out to be! For 150 minutes at a stretch, you get all the virtues of classic 1970s prog, without any weak tracks. The music is presented non-chronologically, but as long as you're not a GG connoisseur you will never notice, 'cause the tracks seem to follow each other naturally.

I've enjoyed this music so much I'd like to get to know the original GG albums as well, but I don't know if I'll ever really get down to that. You see, EDGE OF TWILIGHT sounds like an ideal selection. (I did, however, complete my "Classic GG collection" with IN A GLASS HOUSE which, apparently for copyright reasons, was not included here.)

P.S. Everyone's always going on about how complicated Gentle Giant's music is, but some of their tracks (e.g. 'Think of me with kindness') reveal a very naked vulnerability. There was nothing dishonest about this band.

P.P.S. Unfortunately, the set I happened to buy came without highly detailed liner notes, even though these were promised on the front cover.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars GENTLE GIANT were among the most original and artistically unique bands from the classic prog era. Still, they never for some reasons succeeded in joining the major league with CRIMSON, GENESIS, YES, VAN DER GRAAF, ELP...

My first experience happened long time ago when I got "Free Hand" album. Although very much open to exploring new music and various bands, at that time it did not catch my attention. So I abandoned the group for a long time. Recently I got this compilation on 2 CDs and carefully listened several times. Totally new perception opened in front of me and I was amazed how could I possibly neglect this fine band over the years!

"Edge of Twilight" contains most of the songs from their first five albums in the period 1970- 74, minus "In a Glass House", thus making it the essence of GENTLE GIANT. Tracks are put randomly, not following original track listings, but if you prefer chronological listening you can always play with playlist capabilities of modern-day digital players.

Representation of the band's music is excellent and I will surely expand my collection with few original albums from this period. I am usually not very fond of compilations (especially when it comes to "progressive" and not too commercial music), but this one is valid and recommended. It is excellent introduction to GENTLE GIANT and if you don't intend to go for individual albums, this collection would make it up.

Review by richardh
4 stars I can well understand why reviewers are giving this 4 stars or more.Its the cream of Gentle Giant covering their early albums although thankfully minus any tracks from the slightly overrated In A Glass House.Apparently that was down to contractural reasons but I don't feel there is any loss in that.So why should I have reservations about this compilation? Well for me it was too much to take in when I first heard it... couldn't get my head round it one bit! Too strange and too weird to my ears.Not bad things in themselves but you have about 2 hrs of music here! That a lot of strangeness and weirdness to take in in one go.Therefore I've come to the conclusion this is a bad place to start if you are a GG novice like me.Instead I would recommend the remasters of either Power And The Glory or In A Glass House (a lot of people like it if not me) or even better go for the Giant On The Box DVD.That truly brought their music alive for my ears.That said this is a CD set of very high quality and a true 'best of'.I guess I will have to join others in giving it 4 stars then.
Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This compilation is basically five Gentle Giant albums packed on 2 CDs! Edge of Twilight actually includes the complete version of The Power And The Glory album and almost every track from the first four Gentle Giant-releases. Most of the songs sound much better than their studio album counterparts. The sticker on my copy of the album says "includes many tracks previously unavailable on CD" which might have been true in 1996 but don't expect any new unreleased material outside the songs from the original albums.

There are a few downsides to the compilation. First off, it leaves out material from In A Glass House, probably due to legal issues, and every album after The Power And The Glory. If I have to be picky then it would also have been nice to have great songs like Giant and Prologue from the albums Gentle Giant and Three Friends. Although the albums tracks don't follow any logical pattern I've never had an issue with this since the material flows pretty well no matter the order of songs.

Basically Edge of Twilight is not really a compilation but the flaws that I mentioned don't stop me from proclaiming it as an excellent way of experiencing Gentle Giant which is highly recommended to all prog lovers!

***** star songs: Advent Of Panurge (4:43) Funny Ways (4:28) Peel The Paint (7:30) Cogs In Cogs (3:08) House, The Street, The Room (6:02) Wreck (4:37) Playing The Game (6:44) Three Friends (3:04) Proclaimation (6:48) Knots (4:10) Moon Is Down (4:48) Think Of Me With Kindness (3:32) Valedictory (3:19)

**** star songs: Acquiring The Taste (1:38) Boys In The Band (4:34) Schooldays (7:35) Raconteur Troubadour (4:03) Nothing At All (9:07) Why Not? (5:33) Mister Class And Quality? (5:51) Cry For Everyone (4:03) Isn't It Quiet And Cold (3:46) Plain Truth (7:36) Alucard (6:03) Aspirations (4:38) Pantagruel's Nativity (6:50) River (5:53) The Face (4:11) Edge Of Twilight (3:48) No God's A Man (4:26) So Sincere (3:49)

Total rating: 4,40

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Of all the Gentle Giant compilations I have heard, this one may be the best. And that is despite the fact that it only covers the first six studio albums (through The Power And The Glory). I'm quite surprised that there is nothing from Free Hand, and to a lesser extent Interview.

The producers of this collection must be fans, as the mixes are beautiful, and the song selection contains just about everything I would have chosen (but with over two and a half hours of music, covering only six lps, it averages abot twenty five minutes from each, over half of all the tracks).

From this collection you get a good idea of what the Giant was all about. A very good starting point for beginners.

Review by Warthur
5 stars An excellent digitally remastered compilation of Gentle Giant tracks from their career up to and including The Power and the Glory, barring In a Glass House (I suspect because of rights issues). The song selection is excellent, giving you most of the tracks from the first four albums (with the excluded songs generally being ones which most Gentle Giant fans will agree aren't so essential), as well as giving you the entirety of The Power and the Glory. If you're on a budget, I can think of no better way to become acquainted with the work of Gentle Giant than this compilation.
Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The remasters of classic Gentle Giant was one I sought after for years as I only had one GG at the time with "Octopus". The drawcard of this collection was that it encompassed five albums that are highly revered by GG fans. It is amazing that this includes the entire "The Power And The Glory" album which is essential GG. It also packs in just about everything from "Gentle Giant" except for 'The Queen'. Also it is missing 'Black Cat' from "Acquiring The Taste" as well as 'Prologue' from "Three Friends" and 'Dog's Life' from "Octopus". Unfortunately it left off the title track of "The Power and the Glory" which is a great song. There are few compilations like this that would include such a wealth of material encompassing 5 albums. That is the good news.,

The bad news is there is nothing at all from the wonderful "Free Hand" or "In A Glass House". although they are easy enough to purchase. There is nothing from "The Missing Piece" or "Giant For a day" (not a bad thing) but the real problem for me is the randomness of the track order. It would have been far better to have the tracks in chronological order as many are in context with each other such as on "Three Friends".

This is still a fantastic compilation clocking 155 minutes of non stop Giant, and a starting point for Gentle Giant newcomers, including some of the band's finest compositions. I do not think it replaces their albums due to the missing tracks and random order but it is still great to listen to.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Reiew Nš 484

"Edge Of Twilight" is a compilation of Gentle Giant, presumably comprising their best studio material from 1970 to 1974, which was released in 1996. It's interesting to note that the line up on "Edge Of Twilight" covers the six first years of the band's life, and comprises all members of the group. So, it goes from their first eponymous debut album "Gentle Giant" to their sixth album "The Power And The Glory". Here we have the participation of the three Shulman's brothers, Derek, Phil and Ray, Kerry Minnear and of their three drummers, John Weathers, Martin Smith and Malcolm Mortimore.

"Edge Of Twilight" has thirty one tracks. "Funny Ways", "Nothing At All", "Why Not?", "Isn't It Quiet And Cold?" and "Alucard" are from "Gentle Giant". "Funny Ways" is mellow with an exploration of several instruments, acoustic and electric. "Nothing At All" is one of the most interesting songs of them. "Why Not?" is a heavy rock, a bit dark and frantic, influence by the medieval music. "Isn't It Quiet And Cold?" is mellow and reminds me The Beatles and the early King Crimson. "Alucard", "(Dracula)", has hard rock influences, good instrumental passages and disturbing vocals. "Acquiring The Taste", "The House, The Street, The Room", "Wreck", "Plain Truth", "Pantagruel's Nativity", "The Moon Is Down" and "Edge Of Twilight" are from "Acquiring The Taste". "Acquiring The Taste" is an avant-garde exploratory track with nice and catchy moments. "The House, The Street, The Room" is an avant-garde track, a bit apocalyptic, with nice melody and exploration of sounds. "Wreck" is a strong song with the typical vocal harmony and great interesting musical passages. "Plain Truth" is a solid rock with the typical band's guitar work and some nice vocal harmonies. "Pantagruel's Nativity" has a nice melody and the use of many instruments. "The Moon Is Down" has a nice exploratory passages and a beautiful vocal work. "Edge Of Twilight" is an avant-garde track, a bit dark, with a short vocal line and a good exploratory work. "Peel The Paint", "Schooldays", "Mister Class And Quality?" and "Three Friends" are from "Three Friends". "Peel The Paint" is inspired by classical music. It starts slow and delicate, but develops more intense and dense. "Schooldays" is a track with experimental vocals, musical passages and the use of several instruments. "Mister Class And Quality?" is a good rock song with nice melody and interesting breaks. "Three Friends" is a song where all comes together, keyboards, guitar, bass and the other instruments. "The Advent Of Panurge", "The Boys In The Band", "Raconteur Troubadour", "A Cry For Everyone", "Knots", "River" and "Think Me With Kindness" are from "Octopus". "The Advent Of Panurge" is influenced by jazz. It's full of energy, varied melodies and different singing styles. "The Boys In The Band" is a complex and fast jazz composition with different rhythms and tempos. "Raconteur Troubadour" has medieval influences, although it explores different types of music. "A Cry For Everyone" is an energetic song with nice melody, stunning vocals, great guitar riff and nicwe keyboard work. "Knots" is an avant-garde song with cappella vocals by all members. "River" is an experimental rock song that flows by different themes. "Think Me With Kindness" has a beautiful tune, simple singing and good musicianship. "Cogs In Cogs", "Playing The Game", "Proclamation", "Aspirations", "The Face", "No God's A Man", "So Sincere" and "Valedictory" are from "The Power And The Glory". "Cogs In Cogs" is a ballad with intricated orchestral arrangements and complex multi-part vocal harmonies. "Playing The Game" is a dynamic and complex theme, a real multi-faceted and pure prog song. "Proclamation" has the typical Gentle Giant's complex arrangements and a great melody. "Aspirations" is a calm, relaxing, melancholic and ethereal ballad, one of their most beautiful. "The Face" has a great instrumental section. It's a nice example of the creativity of the band. "No God's A Man" is a song with intricate, complex, intriguing arrangements and multi-part vocal harmonies and tempo changes. "So Sincere" is an experimental and avant-garde song with some jazz influences. "Valedictory" is a reprise of "Proclamation". It's heavier, dissonant, and darker than "Proclamation" is.

Conclusion: "Edge Of Twilight" is a generous compilation. It covers almost all their career from 1970 to 1974, with the exception of "In A Glass House". From "Gentle Giant" it has 5 tracks of 7, from "Acquiring The Taste" it has 7 tracks of 8, from "Three Friends" it has 4 tracks of 6, from "Octopus" it has 7 tracks of 8 and from "The Power And The Glory" it has the 8 tracks. But, "Edge Of Twilight" isn't their final compilation. By unclear reasons, probably copyright reasons, "In A Glass House" wasn't included and "Free Hand" and "Interview" weren't included too. Still, "Edge Of Twilight" is a great introduction to Gentle Giant. If you aren't a hard fan of them, you can buy "Edge Of Twilight", "In A Glass House" and "Free Hand" and you own almost all band's works. But, if instead of "Free Hand" you buy "Free Hand/Interview", you own almost all their discography. So, with "Edge Of Twilight", "In A Glass House" and "Free Hand/Interview" you have their first eight studio albums with less 6 tracks. With only three CD's you have almost all you need from the band.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

5 stars How not to give five stars to this Gentle Giant's anthology ? I usually don't rate greatest hits or compilation packages but I want to make an exception to this band. The name of the band reminds us of the giant characters in Rabelais' stories. In Gentle Giant's music, we sometimes hear sounds ... (read more)

Report this review (#182507) | Posted by MichelNeurophile | Monday, September 15, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I don't own this compilation, however i just couldn't help to notice it. It has the greatest work from Gentle giant from 1970-1974. It is almost four albums in one. "Black cat" from Aquiring the taste, "Prologue" and "Working all day" from Three friends and "Dog's life" from Octopus are missin ... (read more)

Report this review (#126455) | Posted by JR222 | Thursday, June 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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